Stephen Jackson to Clippers: Los Angeles Signs Veteran Forward

Alex KayCorrespondent IDecember 10, 2013

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Stephen Jackson, one of the more intriguing free-agent NBA forwards on the open market, has reportedly signed a deal with the Los Angeles Clippers.    

Chris Broussard of ESPN broke the news:

Jackson later confirmed the deal on his Instagram account, posting a photo of himself with the caption:

One thing about me I never panic bkuz God taught me how to enjoy the bad and good times. It's easy to b positive when u are thankful and humble. God is Great. Let's turn up LA. Promise to give my all. #clips

ESPN's Arash Markazi offered details about Jackson's debut with his new team:

Stephen Jackson is expected to join the Clippers tomorrow in Boston. The Clippers play the Celtics on Wednesday.

— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) December 9, 2013

The 13-year veteran has played for a number of teams during his tenure in the NBA, including the New Jersey Nets, San Antonio Spurs, Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors, Charlotte Bobcats and Milwaukee Bucks.

The 35-year-old will now provide the Clippers with excellent shooting ability and tenacious defense. He's also a capable ball-handler, decent passer and yet another veteran presence in the locker room.

Jackson holds averages 15.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game and has proved more than capable of manning a number of different positions on the floor. At 6’8”, 220 pounds, Captain Jack has defended guards, forwards and even centers during his long and productive career.

Although he took a step back during the 2012-13 season (averaging just 6.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists in limited minutes) and was eventually cut from the Western Conference-winning Spurs, Jackson may assume a bigger role—especially come playoff time—in Los Angeles.

He is a big-time postseason performer who has hit a number of clutch shots, has been tasked with defending the best players and has shown his mettle when it mattered the most.

His averages of 13.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 72 playoff contests are quite respectable, especially when considering some of the underdog teams he has been a part of—such as the 2009-10 Bobcats and 2006-07 Warriors.

During San Antonio’s 2012 Western Conference Finals run, he hit on 26-of-43 attempts from beyond the arc and proved to be a major asset coming off the bench.

Despite a proven track record when he’s on the hardwood, though, off-court issues may be cause for concern in Los Angeles, as Jackson was infamously involved in the “Malice in the Palace” brawl between the Pacers and Detroit Pistons back in 2004.

He was suspended for 30 games for his role in the incident and was issued a seven-game suspension at the start of the 2007-08 season for his involvement in a shooting at an Indianapolis strip club.

The veteran has avoided trouble in recent years, although the league fined him for hurling threats at Oklahoma City Thunder star Serge Ibaka on Twitter last December.

If he can avoid trouble and stay healthy during the 2013-14 campaign, Jackson is undoubtedly going to be a solid contributor for the Clippers.  

His toughness, savvy and experience will be invaluable and should help push the Clippers to another level, especially if they can earn a playoff spot in the competitive Western Conference.